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Prevent or end a dispute before it becomes violent

This bumper sticker says it all.
This bumper sticker says it all.
Dan Vale

This article will discuss specific ways to prevent or end disputes peaceably. Some of these suggestions might be productively used or not used, depending upon the specific dispute and the types of people involved in it.

It is always better to prevent a dispute before it becomes necessary to peaceably end it. Some ways to prevent disputes are to:

  1. Avoid telling ethnic jokes.
  2. Avoid using provocative bumper stickers.
  3. Avoid wearing provocative T-shirts or buttons.
  4. Develop good stress management habits.
  5. Develop good safe driving habits.
  6. Practice courtesy at stadium sports events.
  7. Keep the drinking of everyone in your group under control.
  8. Make sure your Facebook posts are not provocative.
  9. Do your people watching hobby in a discrete manner.
  10. Respect the dangers present in large groups of people.

Sometimes, however, it may be impossible to avoid a dispute. When that happens, peaceably ending the dispute should be the goal. While trying to accomplish that, keep in mind that you should:

  1. Speak in a low, calm, voice with good eye contact and slow, gentle body movements.
  2. Listen to what the angry person is saying, and repeat back to him what you heard him say.
  3. Seek to have the argument in a private place, if possible.
  4. Try to achieve a win-win solution.
  5. Have a plan to protect yourself from physical aggression, if necessary.

Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

What are your thoughts about preventing or peaceably ending disputes? What has worked for you in the past? Please comment below.

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